Kenyon Martin Is Perfect Darko Milicic Replacement for Boston Celtics
Per a report via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Boston Celtics reserve Darko Milicic is considering leaving the NBA to return to Europe. As a result of this potential move, the Celtics would be without a player that was expected to provide quality minutes in an otherwise thin Boston frontcourt.
Should Milicic opt to do so, Kenyon Martin would be the perfect replacement for the Celtics.
If you're puzzled by the fact that Martin does not yet have an NBA home, you're not alone. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the former first overall draft choice is upset that he can't get a job in the NBA.
For those familiar with how well he has played in recent seasons, you should be too.
"There is a notion about me that is not accurate at all – I don't know who started it or where it came from – that people can't control me," Martin told Yahoo! Sports. "I don't understand. Have I had my issues like a lot of other people? Yeah. But I'm getting back that people think they can't control me, that if I don't play I'm going to explode, or I can turn a locker room.
"In 12 years there was not one day where I told one guy to dislike anybody. If you ask guys who I've played with that know me, they know what it is and know I'm about winning basketball games and competing."
So why hasn't Martin signed on yet? According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Martin is not willing to accept the veteran's minimum.
And that's why he's NBA homeless.
As for the likelihood of Martin being signed by a franchise, Wojnarowski touches on Martin potentially ending up with the Boston Celtics in the previously alluded to report. If nothing else, there are veterans within the organization who are pushing for such to transpire.
The Celtics had considered signing free-agent forward Kenyon Martin this offseason, but ultimately chose Collins, Chris Wilcox and Milicic over him. Some Celtics' veterans have been pushing for the team to sign Martin.
Considering a majority of the Celtics roster is made up of respected veterans, it's safe to say that the people petitioning for Martin have clout within the organization. For that reason, it may be fair to assume that Martin could potentially join the C's.
The question is, where does he fit in? This may not be a position, but let's just say quite perfectly.
King of the Garbage Play
Need we continue? If so, cite Martin's history as a winner.
Martin has made the postseason in 11 of his 12 years in the league. Although the Celtics are a virtual lock to make the postseason regardless of signing Martin, K-Mart's influence goes beyond his on-court production.
It's about his willing to do the little things that most players ignore.
Martin will battle for position instead of relying on his athleticism. He'll box out an opponent so a teammate can grab the rebound. He'll dive onto the ground to come up with a loose ball, even when the rest of the pack is bending over and reaching down.
Martin will do the dirty work.
Plain and simple, K-Mart is a natural born leader with 100 games of postseason experience. Brandon Bass may have a few games under his belt, but is there anyone who could help rookie Jared Sullinger more than K-Mart come the playoffs?
If so, it's KG. So why not embrace the duel outlets of leadership?
Rookie Jared Sullinger deserves to be on the floor due to his prowess as a rebounder and upside as a legitimate star. Jason Collins, meanwhile, is one of the better interior defenders at the center position and will provide fundamentally sound play.
But where is the veteran toughness?
We know what Kevin Garnett provides as a vocal leader and interior defender. We also know that when it comes to being tough, you won't find five guys that outclass KG in that sense.
One of the guys who happens to be on the same level, however, is Kenyon Martin.
With Martin on the floor, the drop-off from KG resting on the bench will be minimal. K-Mart has made a living as an enforcer in the paint and would help the Celtics in keeping slashers away from the basket.
Martin would also dramatically improve the Celtics' performance in the rebounding department as he pushes opponents away from grabbing offensive boards.
Although Martin may have declined in terms of his offensive ability and athleticism, he remains a threat from mid-range. Having K-Mart in the rotation with Rondo could create screen opportunities, thus improving the offensive versatility of an inconsistent but promising second unit.
Let's be honest, though. The true benefit of Martin's involvement is his work on the offensive glass.
With Martin's career average of 1.8 offensive rebounds per game, the Celtics could improve in their greatest area of need. For those who doubt that fact, note that the C's rank dead last in the league with just 6.8 offensive boards per game.
The same spot they've ranked in every season since 2010.
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